With an all-day dining menu and a door that is always open, we spent a Friday afternoon at The Northgate tasting their lengthy lunch menu…
Following their opening back in December, it’s no surprise that The Northgate has been a popular spot for those seeking delicious food, a fancy cocktail or perhaps a night in one of their luxurious rooms. If you’ve not already been, they’ve provided a truly unique experience in an historic house just along Northgate Street in Bury St Edmunds. They have 10 unique bedrooms and offer a relaxed but extensive menu throughout the day. Whether you’re looking for a new breakfast or brunch spot at the weekends or perhaps somewhere to celebrate a special occasion (we would definitely recommend trying their chef’s table!), The Northgate certainly have every eventuality covered. On this occasion however, we were there to sample the abundance of delights on their lunch menu. Dan Grigg, their award-winning head chef has crafted some divine tasting experiences across all of their menus, so we were most excited to sample some. Pulling up to the house, we parked onsite with ease – a nice touch for a town centre spot – and were warmly welcomed by the reception team. Our coats were taken and hung in their homely hallway, and we were shown to our table. The main restaurant has a lounge-like feel with a unique fireplace and modern decor.
If a light lunch is what you’re after, take your pick from one of their homemade sandwiches. From honey roast ham, smoked salmon, truffle egg mayonnaise or perhaps even cucumber and rocket pesto, there is even a selection of warm sourdough sandwiches with hearty fillings such as bacon and brie, pulled pork with caramelised apple, sticky beef with red onion or perhaps goats cheese. We couldn’t resist opting for the sticky beef and red onion where the meat was incredibly rich in flavour and the onion chutney was the perfect accompaniment. The sourdough made for a nice, fresh alternative. For those looking for something a little lighter, their range of salads are a wise choice. From avocado and goat’s cheese with walnuts to the traditional smoked chicken Caesar, there’s bound to be one which catches the health-conscious eye. The superfood salad with nuts, grains, beetroot and pickled broccoli stems captured our attention and it was deliciously fresh tasting with a range of varied textures.
If you’ve got a little more time, (oh, and a bigger appetite!) why not take a look at their more hearty lunch menu? From homemade soups to fishcakes, Suffolk gold cheese soufflé, 48° salmon, ham hock and spicy squid, the starters are endless.
The cheese soufflé was cooked to perfection and was bouncy in texture. It had the slightly firmer exterior which then melted effortlessly, and the celery and walnuts added another dimension of texture as well as taste. The ham hock with sage was served with sour apple and celeriac glaze which again worked well together. Squid is a firm favourite of mine and this was lightly fried offering a crisp exterior which was added to with rich soy and sesame dipping glaze. The 48° salmon was another explosion of flavours which was insanely presented. The crisped quail’s egg was delicious and the salmon itself was soft inside with a slightly torched edging.
When it came to main courses, the options continued; crispy catch of the day, smoked pancetta linguine, Suffolk beef burger, pork T-bone, rib eye steak, 8oz beef bavette, 17oz chateaubriand and Cajun black bream. Fish and chips is a classic favourite for most, so we just had to to give it a try. The portion size was beyond generous and the two chunky pieces of fish were lightly battered. The triple-cooked chunky chips were simply perfection and the creamed pea and homemade tartar sauce were delicious.
The smoked pancetta linguine was another highlight. The pasta was incredibly fresh and the parmesan flavouring came through nicely without being overpowering, while the crisped pancetta streaks on top made for an added crunch. This too, was served with garlic sourdough which was a different twist.
If you’re still seeking a little more, you certainly won’t be disappointed with their dessert list. From banana soufflé with Horlicks ice cream to apple pie with a twist, walnut creme caramel with pea sorbet and noissette crumb, they were all just as tasty as they sound.
All in all, the lunch menu itself exceeds expectations and has really mastered the art of traditional British food done well. Each dish is a contemporary take on our usual favourites and offers a hit of complimenting flavours and textures. If you’re looking for a relaxed space to enjoy a unique menu… look no further.
Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1HP
Tel: 01284 339604